Tanya's blog

...Then my neighbor, Brigitta, approached me and said something about her concern for me. I was standing there on the pavement, obviously distressed. She asked, “What happened?” “I’ve lost everything,” was all I could say through my sobs. Brigitta somehow found my dog, but I never found my husband. When Birdie and I came back home, the apartment was empty. A month later, he came back and started placing labels on furniture that he thought belonged to him. He placed a label on Birdie and took her with him. I didn’t know who I missed more, my dog or him....

We survived the war, living on soil where we were not able to put down roots. We lived without being fully accepted by the people around us. My parents were from different regions of Yugoslavia, different religions and we now had a foreign last name. Rejection was our personal prison; our emotions were
buried deep inside us. At the same time, looking back to that period of our lives, not having roots helped us to move forward faster than others....

He was my first love: a tall, thin man with intense eyes and black curly hair. We met when I started Medical University and one day he invited me for ice cream and we started seeing each other. He was just a year ahead of me. With a twinkle in his eyes, he told me that I was his inspiration. He wrote a poem calling me “squirrel.” His love was intense. It was a hot summer night in Belgrade, and the trees of Kalemegdan Park shielded us from view. The scent from the flowers and grass under a dark blue night sky full of stars was mixed with a young girl’s expectations of becoming a woman.

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…I met him at a time when I was ready to live out my fantasies, ready to believe in love, and ready to dream of happiness. Christian was his name, and now I look back and see that love came to me unexpectedly. Maybe it was a love story, or maybe it was because I had time to heal after divorce.

He was an engineer from Copenhagen. I attended a medical conference in New York, and we were both staying in the same small Manhattan hotel. During breakfast, our eyes met across the room, and a spark of unexpected happiness took flight in my soul....

...Being with him was like living for short periods of time surrounded by soft walls of sunlight, happiness, and desire. It was a time of healing and self-discovery; something new in my life. I will always be grateful for our time together. We went for long walks along the shores of the Baltic Sea, made no demands on each other, and were not afraid to express ourselves in a way that I never had before....

I remember Papa carrying me on his shoulders in the park where there were ponies. One day, I wanted to ride, but Papa knew I was afraid of the animal's power. I recall him saying, “Ride only if you can feel a connection with the horse. If you are afraid of the pony, he will be afraid of you.” Our time flew fast that afternoon; the day was beautiful, with the branches of the green, tall trees in the surrounding forest moving slowly in the warm breeze, the grass scattered with yellow flowers. I remember how safe I felt on my Papa's shoulders. It gave me a feeling of flying high in the air. After a while, Papa sat me on the back of the pony and we somehow connected, or maybe both the pony and I were afraid of disturbing the harmony of the moment….

I found my path in the roar of the North Sea,
I found my leaps in the mist of English fog,
I found my leaps in the winter of the North,

I found my leaps in the country of new dawn.

Sometimes, I felt abandoned, alone in the New World,
sometimes I was led by my faith,
sometimes I doubted my search for unknowns,
sometimes I would err,
sometimes I walked blindly into the fire,

without spoken words of my desire.

Many times I asked the sky to be able to fly,
to help me enter the world of my desire,
to help me find leaps of unknown,
to open flowers of the home

to open gates of my inner self.

I will honor you with petals of my flower,
I will honor you with remembrance of your soul,
I will honor you with writing, apply your words and trying,

turn page and go forward.

Tatjana Webster, St Petersbug

January 2016

Tales of the Leap